I would not.
Lyft has partnered with the self-driving car company nuTonomy, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to offer self-driving cars on its platform in the “next few months,” according to Lyft cofounder and chief executive Logan Green. NuTonomy, which was born out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, already runs small pilot programs in Boston and Singapore.
The pilot will begin by integrating “our first couple of vehicles” onto the Lyft platform, nuTonomy cofounder Karl Iagnemma told reporters in a conference call announcing the news. Riders will receive a prompt to opt into the pilot, a Lyft spokesperson said. Those who agree may be picked up by autonomous cars manned by safety drivers – humans behind the wheel who can resume manual control of the vehicle if needed.
BuzzFeed adds that self-driving rides will be free for those who opt in.
This is far from the first time somebody has presented the scenario of ridesharing apps trying out driverless cars. Uber has already tested similar technology in Pittsburgh. It is, however, the first time I have vividly pictured how I would react should I hail a car only to watch an empty vehicle roll up like some sort of ghostly carriage to hell straight out of a folk tale. Forget climbing in; I might instinctively throw my smartphone into the nearest lake out of sheer creepiness. You couldn’t pay me to opt in.
No way am I getting in one of these rides. Would you?